Sean Coughlin's picture

Judge's Review: 91 Rating - Vicious Hook by Flying Dog Brewery

August, 2020
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Vicious Hook by Flying Dog Brewery is a sour wheat ale with blood orange, pineapple, lactose and cherry and is being evaluated as a Wild Specialty Beer (BJCP 2015 Guidelines Category 28C).

The aroma of this beer will take you back to childhood and the glory days of sipping fruit punch-style drinks such as Hawaiian Punch, Hi-C, Capri Sun, etc. It smells more reminiscent of an umbrella-laden cocktail you might enjoy oceanside rather than a beer. The fruit is loud but complex – it is difficult to ascertain a distinct note of blood orange, pineapple or cherry; they blend harmoniously and create a sum that is greater than its parts. 

Just like the drinks mentioned above, the appearance of this beer is nothing short of artificial-looking. The color lies somewhere between red and magenta with a dense rose-colored head that persists well. The flavor doesn’t have the same fruit impact that is found in the aroma – there is a discernable lactic twang that dominates with a supporting role from the cornucopia of fruit.The addition of lactose is a welcome one as it keeps this beer from having a puckering sharpness to its acidity. The finish is reminiscent of Smarties candies: dry with elements of both sweet and tart.    

This is a well-balanced beer that is remarkably easy to drink. Oceanside, poolside or even sitting in front of the television, this is a bright fruit-forward beer that can be enjoyed in a wide variety of settings and by a wide variety of beer drinkers. Whether you are a kettle-sour aficionado or someone just dipping their toes into craft beer, Vicious Hook is unique and enjoyable down to the last drop.